Wike and ASUU had Secret Meeting:
Supervising Minister of Education, Mr. Nyesom Wike, on Tuesday met with the Academic Staff Union of Universities in Abuja.
It could not be ascertained if the meeting which lasted barely one hour produced desirable results.
The ASUU President, Dr. Nasir Fagge and the minister refused to speak with journalists after the meeting.
Fagge did not respond to questions on the outcome of the meeting and the next line of action of the union.
He simply told one of our correspondents that, “I am not in a position to talk.”
At the meeting were the Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission, Prof. Julius Okojie; the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, Prof. Isaac Adewole and a few national officers of the union.
Also, Vice-President Namadi Sambo on Tuesday met briefly with stakeholders in the nation’s education sector.
The stakeholders were led to the meeting which was held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja by Wike.
Other members of the delegation included Okojie and Adewole.
At the end of the brief session, none of the participants agreed to speak with journalists when approached.
Other members of the team who came out of the venue of the meeting a few minutes before Wike came out had claimed that the minister would address journalists.
But Wike refused to answer questions when he emerged from the Vice President’s office.
He joined other members of the team in a brief consultation at the forecourt of the Presidential Villa before he hurriedly jumped into his waiting car.
No official statement was also issued by the Vice President’s office on the meeting.
Meanwhile, the Pan-Yoruba Socio-Cultural group, the Afenifere has appealed to both the Federal Government and the striking members of ASUU to shift grounds in the interest of the future of the students and education sector in general.
This was contained in a communique issued by the group and read to journalists by its Publicity Secretary, Mr. Yinka Odumakin, after the meeting of the group, on Tuesday in Akure. It expressed worries that both parties had failed to shift grounds on the industrial action which had been on since July 1.
The meeting, which was held at the residence of the Afenifere Leader, Pa Reuben Fasoranti, in Akure, also noted that the development was not healthy for the nation’s educational sector.
In a related development, the National Association of Kwara State Students has called on President Goodluck Jonathan to take a pivotal role by personally being involved in the negotiation to resolve the strike.
In a statement signed by its President, Ajadi Muhideen and Public Relations Officer, Sulyman Alimi, on Tuesday in Ilorin, NAKSS said such act by Jonathan would further show his commitment to education growth and advancement.
It hoped that the direct involvement of Jonathan in the negotiation would enhance the quicker resolution of the crisis.
According to the association, Nigerian students are tired of suffering inadequate provision of infrastructure as well as lack of motivation for their lecturers and insufficient funding.
It stated that there was inadequate lecture rooms in many tertiary institutions, adding that under-furnished lecture halls, poorly equipped or lack of laboratories were some of the challenges facing the nation’s institutions.
NAKSS urged other labour unions in the country to embark on solidarity strike.
It said, “The Nigerian students are intellectuals and can see where the wrong is coming from. We do not need anybody to sponsor us, the ills are there for all to see.
“It does not go with reason why any Nigerian student will say a demand for 26 per cent budgetary allocation or the duly earned allowances of university lecturers being requested for is unrealistic.”